BrotherGrendel (787) - San Diego, California, USA - FEB 9, 2009
A- Pours the deepest of browns with highlights of dark tan, very opaque in clarity, the head is thick, vivacious, and creamy with a brown/tan color, big thick lacing sticks on the glass
S- As billed, the aroma is big on coffee, toasty, and roasty, as well as a good offering of chocolate, molasses, and toffee, some dark rich malts in there as well and a subtle alcohol presence
T- Initial taste is dominated by a huge coffee taste backed by dark chocolate, I am also catching some molasses and dark fruits in there as well as a hint of vanilla and slight hop character, finishes with that hop bitterness and a warming alcohol presence
M- Very full-bodied stout that is thick and creamy on the palate, bordering on syrupy, carbonation is lively and balanced
D- The alcohol presence is surprisingly subtle for a whopping 12%abv, but I still wouldn’t push my luck with this one, this big stout is well-known and respected throughout the land and I cast my review in the midst of the majority: a top quality coffee-forward Imperial Stout that is in the top tier of the genre (along with Old Rasputin and Stone IRS)LtDan (1806) - Los Angeles County, California, USA - FEB 7, 2009
Earlier Rating: 8/18/2008 Total Score: 4.3
On cask at the Real Ale Festival at PP Carlsbad. Appearance is dark brown hue, thin ring of tan creamy foam, minimal lacing. Smell is huge coffee malts, plenty of roast-toast, chocolate, grassy hops, light booze. Taste is hit strong by pure coffee grounds, quickly transitions to roast and chocolate cocoa, tinges of grassy bitter hops, finishes with coffee bitterness. Medium-bodied, creamy thick texture, mild carbonation. Coffee is super strong and abv is well-masked but lurking in the background, this one is up there with Founder’s breakfast stout for the most flavorful coffee stouts I’ve tasted, I sure hope to see this in bottle form sometime in the future.
January 2009 Delivered Batch-
Appeared midnight brown with a dark frothy head. Aromas of roasted coffee and chocolate. Tastes of chocolate, roasted coffee, burt malts and spicy hops. Mouthfeel was silky and overall one of the best beers to drink and share out there. Something that could possibly convert a non-beer drinker. foundmd (210) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - FEB 7, 2009
750ml bottle. Have been waiting for years to try this again, Pours black with a large mocha head. Immediate aromas of coffee and chocolate with roasted malt. The "velvety smooth texture" is evident with the first sip. This is so easy to drink. Perfectly balanced flavors of dark malts, hops, dark chocolate, vanilla, and alcohol sweetness. I was expecting a lot more coffee notes on this one, especially given the use of "pounds and pounds" of beans as stated on the bottle. Regardless, this is a fantastic beer, hombrepalo (1971) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - FEB 2, 2009
Big thanks to kpresley77 for this gem. Pours dark as night, with a half-inch thick light brown dense head. Aroma is intoxicating in itself, a pot of melted chocolate, with a strong alcohol aroma that fits in perfectly, strong espresso coffee, and candy sugars. Wonderful nose. The texture and flavors of the beer coat your palate and don’t let go. Oily, and dense as the alcohol and hops initially bits your tongue, next the dark roast flavors sooth you mouth and make you want to drink this all night. Neither bitter nor very sweet, just perfect middle ground. Hated when this was coming to an end, but blessed to have experienced this work of art. southamptonsam (116) - New York, USA - FEB 1, 2009
Looking forward to drinking this for quite a while and I find it underwhelming. Usually I like big, viscous Imperial Stouts (Old Viscocity, Night Tripper) but somehow in this brew it is less appealing. The aroma cuts out after the first few moments and the coffee taste cuts out too. Leaves me thirsting for a Peche Mortel.
jkwalking05 (4743) - Arlington, Texas, USA - JAN 31, 2009
Black with a large head. Aroma is of coffee and dark chocolate. Taste is rich sweet roasty malt. Very full bodied. Strong rich flavors of espresso, coffee and chocolate.
juiceisloose (1492) - Windermere, Florida, USA - JAN 24, 2009
Pours a pitch black body with a small, bubble tan head that dissipates quickly to a very thin film. The aroma is very inviting of rich dark chocolate, roasted coffee, anise, and some bitterness. The flavor follows with huge amounts of dark chocolate, roasted coffee, espresso, toasted caramel, and some hop bitterness. I bet the coffee would be really pronounced on draft. The mouthfeel is thick and viscous, but also incredibly smooth. There is a perfect balance between the chocolate and roastiness. Just an awesome imperial stout from an awesome brewery. DSG (14883) - Tel Aviv, ISRAEL - JAN 24, 2009
UPDATED: OCT 7, 2012 Re-rate 10/2/12: Bottle sample at a tasting at kerenmk’s place. Thanks kerenmk. Black with a big beautiful brown head. Great big roasty coffee aroma. Powerful bittersweet roasty flavor with lots of espresso and a bitter burnt finish. Full thick body. A great Imperial Stout. 8/5/8/4/16=4.1
Hank1980 (966) - Athens, Georgia, USA - JAN 22, 2009
(11/4/08) Bottle at O’Brien’s in San Diego. Silver foil. Opaque black color with a big bubbly brown head. Aroma of espresso, bitter chocolate, some raisins notes, licorice hints and alcohol. Sweet roasty flavor with some burnt malt, dark chocolate and coffee, notes of dark fruits and some alcohol spiciness. Bitter finish with some hoppiness and roastiness. Thick mouthfeel. A great Stout. 8/4/8/5/16=4.1
Bottle shared. Poured black with a nice tan head. Aroma of roasted malt, not as much coffee as I expected. Taste is also roasted. Overall, the beer didn’t have as much coffee as I expected, and there was a lightly bitter note in the taste and finish. I’ll give it another try soon, but I was not overly impressed with my first sample. That said, it was still a solid imperial stout, just not was I was expecting. Turbolax (4) - , California, USA - JAN 12, 2009 does not count
Nice to see great BA’s coming out of San Diego. Frothy with a dark brown color throughout. I got a full body out of this beer semi-sweet chocolate undertones. Not sure what the "speedway" hsa to do with this stout, but whatever the case it’s still tasty.